Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

If you are convicted of driving while intoxicated or aggravated driving while intoxicated as a felony or misdemeanor, you are required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in any vehicle that you own or use. Most likely, your sentence requires you to have the IID installed for at least 12 months.

An IID connects to a motor vehicle ignition system and measures the alcohol content in the breath of the person driving. The driver exhales into the IID. If the driver’s blood alcohol concentration is .025% or higher, the IID prevents the vehicle’s engine from starting. When an engine is running, at random times, the IID requires the driver to provide more breath samples. If the driver doesn’t exhale into the IID, the IID records this, warns the driver and then the vehicle starts honking or an alarm goes off until the ignition is turned off or a clean breath sample is provided. Some IIDs even have built in cameras.

Driving without an IID against a court order and helping someone drive without a court ordered IID, are Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to 1 year in jail.

The ignition interlock restriction will be added to the driver license record even if the license is revoked. The restriction will appear on the back of the driver license document as "interlock device.”

Installation Process

After Sentencing you have 10 days to install the IID. The sooner you install the IID, the sooner your time starts to run. If you are sentenced to a prison term, the 10 days starts to run from the date of your release. You will have a monitor (the District Attorney’s Office, county STOP DWI program, or probation department) to make sure that you install and comply with the IID. Your monitor will give you a list of approved vendors that install the IID. You can also find a list of vendors on the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services website. When you set-up your appointment, you will need to know information about the criminal case and who is your monitor. If you do not own the car that needs to have the IID, get a notarized statement from the owner that says you can install the device. Once the IID is installed you should give proof to the court within 3 days of the installation.

Costs and Fee Waiver

An IID costs money. There is a fee to install the IID, a monthly charge and a fee to remove the IID. The exact cost depends on the vendor, but could be around $200 for installation and removal, plus $100 each month the IID is on the vehicle. If you own or operate multiple vehicles, you have to install an IID in each one.

If you don’t have the money to pay for the device, you can ask the court to waive the fee by filling out the Financial Disclosure Form. The court will waive the fee if you can prove that you have real money problems. Take the form and 3 copies to the court that sentenced you. Apply as soon as possible because you only have 10 days after sentencing to install the IID. The court will decide whether to waive the installation and monthly charge for the device.

Employer Exception

There is a limited exception to the rule that allows you to drive without an IID installed if you drive a vehicle in the scope of your job and your boss knows about the IID requirement. Your boss must give written approval that you may drive the vehicle for work. Speak to your attorney if you think this applies to you.

Removing the IID Restriction from Your Driver License

When your IID time is up, your ignition interlock monitor (either the county STOP DWI program, the District Attorney’s Office, or the probation department) must give you a form that says that you are no longer required to install and maintain the IID in motor vehicles you own or use. You must take this form to a local DMV office and apply for a new license without the restriction. Get proof that the IID restriction was lifted by getting a copy of your driver's abstract. Then give a copy of this letter to your device manufacturer so that they can schedule an appointment to remove your device as soon as possible.

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